Gardens - Fruit & Vegetable Gardening

How to grow English cucumbers

Grow these sleek members of the cuke family on a trellis to keep them off the ground.

There are two tricks for a successful crop: first, for straight symmetrical fruit, give the vines something to climb; next, pick the cucumbers at full length, but at minimum girth, no more than 2 to 3 cm or so in diameter, when their seeds are still small and the skin tender.

Found in most catalogues, the cultivar ‘Sweet Slice’ develops vigorous vines that 
hang out a succession of sweet tasting cukes over many weeks. The dark green fruit of ‘English Telegraph’ (an heirloom variety) run 
38 to 45 cm in length. ‘Progress’ and ‘Burpless Tasty Green’ are long hybrids that should 
be picked often to keep them productive.

Crawling on the ground, cucumber plants often yield curved or contorted cukes; but send these natural climbers upward and the fruit will hang down arrow-straight. Vines hoist themselves upward by means of small tenacious tendrils that wrap tightly around anything handy.


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